This podcast is part of the Trask 250 series which documents the lives of more than 250 formerly enslaved of the Trask and Ventress families of Louisiana and Mississippi. It’s also available as a blog post.

The Marriage of Eliza Lawrence Trask and John Gallison Tappan

Publication of the marriage of John Gallison Tappan and Eliza Lawrence Trask. New York Daily Herald (New York, NY), May 10, 1839, page 3.
Eliza Lawrence Trask Tappan, 1813-1894.
Source: American Antiquarian Society
John Gallison Tappan (1808-1876), husband of Eliza Trask Tappan, nephew of Lewis and Arthur Tappan, abolitionsts.
Israel Elliot Trask (1773-1835), father of Eliza Trask Tappan. Former slaveholder in Mississippi and Louisiana, lawyer and businessman in western Massachusetts, trustee of Amherst College.

Profile, care of History of Amherst College During It’s First Half Century, William Seymour Tyler, 1873

1894: Death record for Eliza Lawrence Trask Tappan in Brookline, MA, noting her parents, Israel Elliot Trask and Elizabeth Carter, and her husband, John Gallison Tappan. 

Source: Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915,

The Tappan Brothers and Their Legacy as Abolitionists

Arthur Tappan, 1786 – 1865.
Source: Library of Congress
Lewis Tappan, 1788–1873.
Source: National Park Service
A broadside created by the American Anti-Slavery Society condemning the sale and keeping of slaves in the District of Columbia.
Source: Library of Congress

Sundry Links:

The Trask Family and Their Legacy of Slaveholding

January 1, 1839: James Lawrence Trask of Wilkinson, MS obtains a loan from his niece, Eliza L. Trask, of New York, NY, in the amount of $17,000, due in 4 notes with 7% interest. As collateral, James put up LaGrange Plantation (4,100+ acres) and the lives of 198 enslaved people. Source: FamilySearch. Wilkinson County, MS Deed Book L, pages 413-415.

Attention: The internal data of table “3” is corrupted!

May 31, 1822: James Lawrence Trask, of Wilkinson, MS secures a bond for $140,000 due to his brother Israel E. Trask of Springfield, MA, due in 10 notes with 6% interest, fulfillment of repayment by 1832, collateral of LaGrange Plantation and 150 enslaved people. James did not pay back the loan by the time Israel died in 1835. This should have meant that the 150 enslaved would have become the property of Israel, a man living in the north, in any other circumstance.

Source: FamilySearch. Wilkinson County, MS Deed Book C, Pages 250-253

1836: Estate Inventory, Israel Elliot Trask, June 13, 1836, with a second page that notes the $140,000 debt of James Lawrence Trask. It’s equivalent to more than $3.2 million today.

Source: Hampden County, Massachusetts. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991,

1849: Administrators account for the estate of Israel Trask notes several “legacy” accounts established for the children of the deceased living in the north, funded by slavery in the south. Notation of “Cash paid Mrs. Eliza L. Tappan balance of legacy, $1,752.72.” 

Source: Hampden County, Massachusetts. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991,

1835: Will of Israel Elliot Trask, October 12, 1835, noting payment of $30,000 to his wife, Elizabeth Carter Trask. Further down, provision is set for his his children Israel Carter Trask, William Elliot Trask, Edward Trask, Elizabeth (Eliza) Lawrence Trask Tappan, Sarah Trask Onderdonk. 

Source: Hampden County, Massachusetts. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991,

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